FROM CAR PARK TO HQ
Our design for the charity’s new headquarters transforms an unused basement car park in the City of London into an engaging hub of activity, providing contemporary workspace for the charity’s staff and flexible spaces for young blind and partially sighted people to meet, play and learn essential life skills such as IT and cooking.
A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
There are 39,000 blind and vision-impaired children in England and Wales, with four more diagnosed each day. Our concept provides a home away from home for blind children and their families, with playful and colourful interiors embodying the charity’s mission and creating a vibrant, uplifting centre. Creative and Media Suites provide opportunities for blind children to pursue their dreams.
The concrete columns of the existing space were incorporated into the design to prevent obstacles for VI (vision impaired) users and aid in sensory navigation when hand-trailing along walls and surfaces.
The RSBC Life Without Limits Centre is an exemplar of inclusive design, using a palette of high contrast and tactile materials to support sensory navigation of the space and ensure sufficient LRV (Light Reflective Value) contrast between connecting surfaces.
Working closely with the blind community, our investigative approach ensured the space was simultaneously inclusive and aesthetically pleasing. This approach minimised the need for specialist accessibility products, creating a ‘real world’ design aesthetic inclusive of all users with varying levels of sight loss.
‘The design is VI-orientated. It’s all very inspirational; we don’t need to think of our disabilities as limitations. We can do anything we want.’
RSBC Beneficiary and Volunteer
WAN COLOUR IN ARCHITECTURE AWARD WINNER
Colour is integral to the building with vibrant interiors embodying RSBC’s empowering mission. Large areas of colour are used to help zone the building and aid in wayfinding. Wherever you are in the building, several colours are visible, helping to orientate VI users.
Colour choice is particularly important when designing for partially sighted users and users with colour blindness. For each area, meticulous colourway explorations were undertaken to ensure sufficient LRV contrast between any connecting surface.
‘Accessibility has been built into the design which is inclusive for all levels of visual impairment, making the LWLC more accessible than your average office.’
Assisted Tech Officer, RSBC
Colour psychology has been incorporated to improve wellbeing, balance emotions, and maximise the impact of each room by complimenting the activities and services they are providing. Warm colours with saturated hues are used to encourage and energise (such as in creative and productive spaces). Muted cooler colours (such as in family support rooms and office areas) are used to soothe, nurture and aid concentration.